Joe Mauer vs. Byron Buxton: Minor league numbers say Buxton could be the better pro


10 years ago, Twins $184 million catcher Joe Mauer won Minor League Player of the Year honors, becoming the first Twin ever to do so.

Yesterday, Byron Buxton filled the giant shoes Mauer left in Minnesota's minor league system, becoming the first Twin since Mauer to win Baseball America's top honor.

How do Mauer and Buxton match up stat-wise down on the farm? Take a look at the past, present, and future of Twins baseball.

Mauer's 2003 POY numbers between Class High A Fort Myers and Class AA New Britain: .338, 73R, 5HR, 85RBI, 3SB, 30 2B, 49BB, 49K.

Buxton 2013 POY numbers between Class A Cedar Radips and High A Fort Myers: .334, 105R, 12HR, 77RBI, 55SB, 19 2B, 18 3B, 76BB, 105K.

Those numbers could make any depressed, bedridden Twins fan peak their head out from beneath the covers one more time before the year is over.

Yes, we know, Buxton hasn't made it out of A ball yet and he was a level below Mauer in the POY seasons.

Nobody cares, quit being a pessimist.

A few notes, aside from the fact that Buxton's numbers blow Mauer's out of the water: 18 triples and 55 stolen bases shows the pure speed Buxton is known for, prompting former Twins Manager Tom Kelly to call him the fastest player he's ever seen.

It may not look like Buxton is flying around the bases, but those long strides say otherwise, as do the numbers. Here's an example.

12 homers may not sound like a lot, but the fact that he has the speed to go along with even marginal power is still a ridiculous combination.

Plus, this doesn't exactly look like marginal power.

That walk number is impressive for Buxton, especially knowing it's 27 more than Mauer in his POY season, a man that historically has one of the best eyes in the majors.

Mauer is known for his stellar defense and ability to handle a pitching staff. Center field may not be the complicated, multi-layered position that catcher is, but Buxton still plays it pretty well.

We're ecstatic, as is Twins General Manager Terry Ryan.

Our only wish: That it was 2015 so Buxton could be here now.

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